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6000 megawatts: ‘1bn metric tonnes of gas for power plants realisable’

UDEME CLEMENT
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says  recent target given to major gas companies by the Federal Government to provide one billion metric tonnes of gas supply daily for power plants across the country is  realisable if government puts  measures in place to monitor the gas supply chain from  producers.

The Western Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo, who frowned at the epileptic power supply in the country and the inability of government to meet the target of 6,000 mega watts (MW) of electricity generating capacity,  last December, told Sunday Vanguard, that lack of sufficient gas supply as an excuse for power failure must not be accepted any longer.

Korodo said, “The lingering power crisis is not good for a developing economy like Nigeria . We would not achieve tangible economic growth and development with erratic power supply that is almost crippling every sector of the economy. Even the operators of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country need constant electricity to remain in business.

Now, government is talking about Vision 20: 2020  when the power sector is not generating sufficient capacity to meet the demands  of consumers in the industrial sector and for domestic use. For government to achieve its vision, its must tackle power failure pragmatically and holistically  within a stipulated period.”

On  post-Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) oil regime unfolded by government, recently, he said, “We are all aware of the role of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the oil and gas sector of the economy, since the Bill is designed to make the corporation function as a commercial venture to generate more revenue for government.

The Bill should be passed into law as a matter of urgency. This means that the  NNPC would go to the capital market to raise funds for its operations and would bear the cost of all its transactions. In that capacity, the level of corruption within the corporation would reduce drastically”.

Also speaking on the PIB, the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum, Senator Abubakar Umar Gada, said  slow legislation affected the Bill, which has been at the National Assembly since 2008, even when it has passed the first and second readings. He told Sunday Vanguard, “The Senate is taking its time to examine and deliberate exhaustively on the Bill to ensure that a thorough job is done before passing it into law.

The Bill, when passed  into law,  would make the energy sector viable for greater productivity. Whereas  some international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria have  criticised the Bill as a means through which government wants to  create a monopoly in the system for the national oil company, others are of the opinion that, the PIB,  if passed into law in its present state,  may slow down the development of deep water reserves and investment opportunities in the country. On the contrary, NNPC said the Bill needs immediate passage to prevent the country’s downstream sector from sudden collapse, stressing that Nigeria ’s economy loses $287million on monthly basis following the  non-passage of PIB into law.


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